By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
After suffering an 8-1 loss to Portland three weeks ago, the Tri-City Americans were 5-8-0-1, last in the U.S. Division and hovering around the bottom of the Western Conference.
The powerful and high-scoring hockey machine wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Other teams in the division went whipping past, leaving the Americans stranded alongside the road like a broken down jalopy.
Fast forward to today. The Americans (11-8-0-2) are coming off a 3-2 road win over Portland, are tied for fifth in the Western Conference and have points in seven consecutive games going into a home-and-home weekend against the Everett Silvertips (12-3-2-0).
“Obviously, our average start was weighing on a lot of our minds and we knew something had to change,” said Americans captain Mitch Topping. “It’s tough to pinpoint what exactly happened, but everyone is buying in and working hard from the young guys on up, and that is huge. Our last seven games show that guys are working hard. We are happy to keep it rolling.”
The Americans play at Everett’s Comcast Arena tonight and host the Silvertips on Saturday. The teams have played once this season — a 2-0 Everett home win Oct. 4.